Western Frontiers and Rara Lake
All content by World Expeditions
Solitude and a true wilderness experience charaterise this rarely offered trek in Nepal's remote far west.
Nepal's far west is seldom visited, however offers scenery and culture very different to the rest of Nepal. Logistically this is a complicated area to access and trek in, however the solitude of this wilderness makes the effort worthwhile. The Rara National Park is home to the stunning Rara Lake, and the area has remained unchanged for many years whilst other regions have benefited from the busy tourist seasons. Our Rara itinerary follows the same route as our Great Himalaya Trail section, and we've received so much positive feedback on this area that we have decided to add it to our regular Nepal trekking program as a stand alone trek in it's own right.
- Rara Lake
- Remote Yari Valley
- Fully supported camping based trek including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks
- Ample acclimatisation days built in
- Sightseeing in Kathmandu - Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine) and the giant Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath
Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu
You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all World Expeditions clients arriving today. Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.
Day 2 In Kathmandu (1330m)
This morning a sightseeing tour takes in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. We will visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath, returning to the hotel by 2pm. In the afternoon you may have time to explore Swayambhunath, Durbar Square, Patan or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world.
Day 3 Fly Kathmandu to Nepalgunj.
The flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj takes approximately 1 1/2 hours and is fairly dependable. During the flight we should catch a glimpse the mountains we will be trekking amongst in the coming days.
Days 4-5 Fly Nepalgunj to Gamgadhi, trek to Rara Lake (3010m).Rest day.
We take the once weekly flight from Nepalgunj to Gamgadhi and on arrival set out for Rara Lake. Rara is Nepal's largest lake and is surrounded by the protected forests of Rara National Park in the Karnali district.There is an abundance of wildlife in this area including musk deer, leopard, ghoral, tahr, Himalayan black bear, and the rare red panda.The water of the lake is crystal clear and the area is a stunning place of natural beauty.We will spend a rest and acclimatisation day here.
Day 6 Karnali Riverside Camp.Walk approx. 6hrs.
Leaving our idyllic rest stop at Rara Lake we descend to Gamgadhi, taking a left turn in the bazaar before continuing another 40 minutes to the Karnali bridge. Another 4 hours brings us to Bala and then a further 1 1/2 hours to Karnali.
Day 7 To Bam (2700m),walk approx. 5hrs.
We cross the suspension bridge from Karnali and climb a steep, rocky trail, trending left until we crest a ridge at 2180 metres. We descend to a small river and then another climb brings us through fields and pine forest to a ridge and then a traverse to Bam village.
Day 8 To Jogimara (3005m), walk approx. 6.5hrs.
We follow a trail which contours around hillsides until we reach a stream at Ghachaur. Here we begin a climb to the pass which should take approximately 3 1/2 hours, from the top it is an easy descent to a pretty campsite by a stream. There is a teashop close by which is 15 minutes before reaching Jogimara.
Day 9 To Piplan (1700m), walk approx. 5hrs.
We make an easy short ascent from Jogimara to a ridge at 3120 metres before a longer descent of 500 metres to a small stream before climbing again, crossing a landslide area. From here we have views of the lower valley and the village of Rimi. We make a long traverse to Deuri, passing by a school before descending to Darma village. Continuing through the village we drop down through a series of steep switchbacks to the main trail by the riverside, and then crossing a suspension bridge over the Humla Karnali and finally a short climb to Piplan.
Day 10 To Apsia Lekh (1965m), walk approx. 6.5hrs.
We continue trekking through the traditional villages of Nimagaon and Korka climbing a series of switchbacks and crossing a basin between ridges before halting at a stream for our lunch break. Climbing once again to the village of Puma we take a right fork and and ascend more switchbacks in pine forest to Apsia Lekh.
Day 11 To Punkha Khola, walk approx. 4hrs.
Today we have magnificent views of Saipal and surrounding valleys as we follow a contouring trail to Kallas. From here we descend to the river and then climb an easy trail to a ridge and descend once more to the Rodikot Khola.A further east climb of 1 1/2 hours brings us to our campsite beside the Punkha Khola.
Day 12 To River Camp, walk approx. 5.5hrs.
We start with a big climb of 500 metres through steep switchbacks to a kharka at 3512 metres. From here we continue climbing, gaining views north to Simikot and also to the south. We climb to over 4000 metres today before a very steep descent to the Yanchu Khola. We have a few camping options today, and there will more than likely be some livestock grazing in the valley.
Days 13-14 To Simikot (2900m), walk approx.6.5hrs. Rest day.
Depending on weather conditions today may be a very warm day as there is little shade along the trail. We descend for 15 minutes or so alongside the river before an easy gradient climb to Durpa village and a further descent to the pilgrimage site of Kharpunath. Continuing on another 30 minutes we turn into the Kudila Kola valley. from here we ascend to some teashops and cross a metal bridge before the final set of switchbacks which lead us to Simikot.
Day 15 To Dharapori (2300m), walk approx. 5.5hrs.
Trekking in this region has a lot to offer. We travel through many villages and fields of buckwheat and potatoes, cross rivers and climb ridges. It is a particularly pretty area with many small communities dotted along our trail. The gradient levels out before Dharapori and we finally pass through walnut and apricot groves before arriving at our camp for the night.
Days 16-17 To Muchu (2920m), walk approx. 5.5hrs.
Leaving Dharapori we cross over the river and trek along the north side towards Muchu. We pass by waterfalls and shepard camps and although reasonably challenging it is a pleasant and interesting trek.
Day 18 To Yari (4100m),walk approx. 7hrs.
We pass below the Gompa and through orchards and fields before gaining a ridge, dropping into a ravine and climbing up the other side. There are good views of the upper valley from here. We continue on descending and crossing ridges until we make a final climb to Yari. Yari is a compact settlement with a police post, which is the last in Nepal, and customs office.The main crops of this area are millet,barley, wheat, buckwheat, potatoes and radishes.To the west of Yari is the Sarpa La, a route into Tibet.
Day 19 To the Tibetan border at Hilsa (4101m/5hrs).
Today we will reach the border at Hilsa! This is a stunning area of Nepal, and it is our hope that by forging a trail through this magnificent region we will bring an awareness of the needs in the these areas. By your very involvement in this trek you are contributing to these regions and helping to develop the beginnings of an infrastructure to support responsible tourism to these areas.
Day 20 Return to Yari (4100m/5hrs)
Retracing our steps we return to Yari from the border at Hilsa.
Days 21-23 To Simikot (2910m).
We retrace our steps back to Simikot, and the end of our trek in this very special part of Nepal.There are sure to be big celebrations with our crew tonight, and some well deserved pats on the back for our group who have completed a very long walk in the Himalaya!
Day 24 To Kathmandu by air (1330m).
This morning we fly to Kathmandu, a thrilling flight over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 25 Trip concludes Kathmandu.
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport.
- 24 breakfasts, 21 lunches and 21 dinners
- airport transfers
- flight Kathmandu/Nepalgunj/Gamgadhi/Kathmandu valued at US$304
- expert bilingual guide and group medical kit
- accommodation at the Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu
- use of a World Expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over US$500)
- souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
- safety equipment including satelite phone, portable high altitude chamber and expedition medical kit
- all park entrance fees and trekking permits
- porters to carry all personal and group equipment and porter's insurance
- sightseeing and site entry fees in Kathmandu
- accommodation in our fully serviced wilderness campsites
- 23 day trip
- 18 day trek
- 3 nights hotel
- 19 nights camping
Group Size Min
Group Size Max
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).
What You Carry
In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc. Porters carry all group gear.